By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.Is anyone else old enough to remember a great old Billy Joel song? It was called "Honesty" and here are some of the words:
Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.
But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind.
It always seems to be so hard to give.
Honesty is such a lonely word.
Everyone is so untrue.
Honesty is hardly ever heard.
And mostly what I need from you.
Can't you just hear Solomon singing this? Seriously. He was surrounded by courtiers, wives that wanted to be Numero Uno, other kings who wanted to bribe him, and people who just generally were after what he could give them....
No wonder he talked often in the Proverbs about this:
Proverbs 7:21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
Proverbs 20:19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
And we find in the New Testament that we are told to model honesty, as well. No bribes for doing or saying something, no flattery, just honest talk and actions, right?
Acts 24:16We've discussed it before, and we probably need to remind ourselves each day . . . honesty really IS the best policy!
I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.
2 Corinthians 4:1-2
Since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.